 # Laboratory Equipment, Safety and Procedures

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Laboratory Equipment, Safety and Procedures
Section 2.2 Scientific Measurements

Pre-View 2.2 Mass – the measure of how much matter is in an object
Gram – SI unit for mass Scale balance – used to measure mass Triple beam balance – a type of scale balance commonly used in high school laboratories Weight – the measurement of force exerted by gravity on an object

Pre-View 2.2 Triple beam balance – a type of scale balance commonly used in high school laboratories Newton – SI unit for force (and weight) Spring scale – equipment used to find force and weight Ruler or metric stick – equipment used in the laboratory to measure length in millimeters, centimeters, or meters

Scientific Measurements
Weight and mass are not the same – what is the difference between the two? Mass is the measurement of how much matter is in an object. It is measured in grams using a scale balance such as a triple beam balance.

Scientific Measurements
Weight is a measurement of the force of gravity on an object It is measured in newtons using a spring scale. If you went to the moon where the gravity is only about 20% of the earth’s gravity, your mass would not change since your body would contain the same amount of matter, but your weight would be less on the moon than on eart h due to gravity.

Equipment for Measuring Mass
A scale balance is used to find the mass of an object. Most common types of scale balances are the triple beam balance and the electronic balance. Both measure mass in grams.

Triple Beam Balance

Using a Triple Beam Balance
Step 1 Be sure the balance is on a level surface. Move the three sliders as far left as they will go prior to placing anything on the pan. Indicator on the right should be on the zero mark. If not, calibrate the balance by turning the screw under the pan until it is in line.

Using a Triple Beam Balance
Step 2 Place the object being measured on the pan and move the 100 gram slider on the beam until the indicator drops below the mark. Be sure it clicks into place. The number to the left of this point will show the number of hundreds of grams in the object. Move the slider back one notch to the left so that the indicator is once again above or equal to the zero mark. The slider should now point to the number of hundreds of grams in the object.

Using a Triple Beam Balance
Step 3 Move the 10 gram slider along its beam until the indicator drops below zero. Be sure the slider clicks into place. Once again the number to the left of this point will tell you how many tens of grams are in the object. Move the slider back one notch to the left so that the indicator is above or equal to the zero mark. This slider will now point to the number of tens of grams in the object.

Using a Triple Beam Balance
Step 4 The one gram slider is not notched, so you can move it anywhere on the beam. The numbers marked on this beam are grams, and the marks between are tenths of a gram. Move this slider until the indicator exactly lines up with the zero mark. The object’s mass now “balances” the mass on the beams. By adding the numbers together, you can find the mass of the object.

Equipment for Measuring Weight or Force
Weight is a measurement of the force of gravity on an object, and it is measured in newtons (the SI unit for force). Weight and force are measured using a spring scale. Your bathroom scale is a spring scale. Some scales have a dial readout, and others have a linear scale.

Using a Spring Scale To find the weight of an object using this spring scale, you would hold the scale up and attach the object to be weighed to the hook at the bottom. The spring will stretch, and the pointer will move along the scale and point to the number that shows the object’s weight.